Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Unfinished Business In Congress

The Republican sweep to power in the House virtually assures that the unfinished business on the Obama administration agenda will not be finished any time soon. Most important to the construction industry is reauthorization of the federal highway trust fund, which Congress could not accomplish while both houses were under Democrat control. Now, unless the lame ducks get their tails in gear and pass a six year $500 billion reauthorization before Republicans take over in the House, it seems unlikely that anything good will come out of the next Congress for the construction industry.

Other construction related legislation likely to languish under Republican House leadership includes the Clean Energy and Security Act – also known as cap and trade, a public option for health insurance, the DREAM comprehensive immigration reform bill, and two bills designed to redirect unused TARP funds to infrastructure building: the Jobs for Main Street Act and the Small Business and Infrastructure Jobs Act. Any second infusion of federal stimulus dollars into the construction industry seems completely imaginary now.
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